- As a part of “Aster Volunteers” programme, an “Aster@30” initiative, two containers of halal meals worth about AED 1.5 million were dispatched to Africa.
- Famine-affected people of Somaliland has received 150,000 packs of “Salma” foods just prior to the Eid Ul Adha celebrations days, contributed by the “Aster Volunteer”, channelized through the Govt of Dubai's AWQAF & Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF) and their associates Dubai Charity Association and Al Hayat Islamic Foundation in Somaliland.
- Employees of Aster DM Healthcare various establishments across its network in Middle East, India and Philippines shared their contribution and equivalent was done by Aster DM Foundation.
- Six Aster Volunteers from Dubai joined Al Hayat Islamic Foundation Volunteers at Burco for the ground distribution of the food packets among the beneficiaries.
- “Aster Volunteers” activities are in line with the declaration of 2017 as the Year of Giving by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 30th August, 2017: Aster Volunteers joined hands with Al-Hayat Foundation humanitarian workers in Somalia, to support the ongoing relief efforts and aid in the safe distribution of over 150,000 meal packets to the famine affected and the displaced Somalis at Buraco in Somaliland, in presence of their regional Vice Governor Mr. Mohammed Hayd. The initiative is part of the ‘Aster Volunteer' global programme for Africa for the disaster supports as part of “Aster@30” initiatives commemorating Aster DM Healthcare's 30th anniversary year. Aster partnered with Government of Dubai's Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF) earlier this year as part of Aster's ongoing Give Back Initiative (GBI), to provide humanitarian aid and support the relief efforts in famine affected areas of Somalia, channeled through its ‘Aster Volunteers' program. The foods packed through Salma Humanitarian Relief Program, is an initiative pioneered by the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre and managed by AMAF, ensured safe delivery and efficient distribution of the food packets. The distribution was supported by Six Aster Volunteers, who traveled to the East African country Somalia, and the ground handling organized by Al Hayat Islamic Foundation - a NGO in Somalia that Aster has partnered through and AMAF and its associate Dubai Charity Association (DCA).
Commenting on the initiative Dr. Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman & Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare – a leading private healthcare provider in the Middle East and India, said “As of June 2017, around 3 million people, an estimated one quarter of Somalia's population, are experiencing acute food shortages at crisis or emergency levels and 363,000 children are suffering from malnutrition. ‘Aster' aspires to be responsible members of the international community to think about others, and to do what we can to alleviate the suffering of those in less fortunate conditions than we are. The people of Somalia have long struggled with both violence and scarcity, and it is our honor and our duty at Aster DM Healthcare to assist in any way we can”.
“The Aster@30 initiative and the ‘Aster Volunteer' programme are testimony to our effort to empower individuals who want to make a positive difference in the society and extend a helping hand to the less fortunate. I ask anyone who is willing and able to join us going forward so we can assist in the healing of others. We feel very happy and proud the food dispatched from Dubai soon after Ramadan days could be distributed among the famine-affected people at Buraco, just prior to Eid Al Adha celebrations”.
“We are incredibly proud of the Six Aster Volunteers, who have traveled from Dubai to Somalia in order to support the distribution, going above and beyond to do something positive for those in need,” added Dr. Azad Moopen.
The assigned Volunteers left Dubai on Friday 25th August '17 early morning, arrived in “Hargeisa” the capital of the Somaliland. About Aed.1.5 Million worth food packets desppatched in 2 shipping containers of 20 foot each during Ramadan were arrived in “Buraco”, and was safely taken to various stocking and distributions sites in and around Buraco, where the large number of famine affected displayed communities are being migrated. The distribution arrangements started early in the morning on Saturday the 26th August, in a very organized manner and continued as batches throughout the day as channelized ration benefitting to around 3,500 families packed in a large box with 42 food packets. The distribution programme well co-ordinated, monitored and managed by the local authorities, the NGO officials and the humanitarian community workers. The Volunteers later met the Honourable Vice President for the Republic of Somaliland HE Honorable Abdirahman Abdilaahi Ismail and the Health Minister for the Republic of Somaliland HE. Suleiman Essa Ahmed, apprised them on the programme on behalf of the contributors of Aster and AMAF officials in this disaster management supports.
“We are very pleased to receive such great support and commitment from our partners and friends in Dubai,” said Mr. Abdul Hakeem Saed Bare, Chairman of Al Hayat Islamic Foundation.
“Somalia is a country that struggle with a host of challenges. We are doing everything we can to do our part to ensure that our fellow citizens are provided with basic human needs, so that they can one day fulfill their potential and follow their dreams. This is a difficult task under any circumstances, and we are grateful to have such dedicated support from ‘Aster Volunteers' channelized through their partners AWQAF & Minority Affairs Foundation by Government Dubai and its associates Dubai Charity Association” added Mr. Abdul Hakeem.
In alignment with the declaration of 2017 as the “Year of Giving” by the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ‘Aster Volunteers' program reinforces Aster DM Healthcare's social commitment to supporting the communities it serves and recognizes volunteerism as a key pillar of giving. The value of the containers was raised internally through the contribution of Aster's employees, with equal contribution from the Aster DM Foundation - the charitable arm of Aster DM Healthcare.
Commenting on the initiative, HE Mr. Tayeb Al-Rais, Secretary General of AMAF said: “The provision of food is vital to reducing the number of deaths. We aim to achieve a measure of food security, and to ensure the sustained health of these victims of natural disasters and strife. We thank Aster DM Healthcare for its valuable generosity and efforts to support humanitarian aid and help people overcome extreme natural disasters. This public-private sector partnership reflects a shared commitment to giving for the benefit of humanity, which in turn serves the dream and vision of the rulers of our land.”
The Salma Humanitarian Relief Program, endeavors to provide humanitarian initiatives aimed at combating poverty in parts of the world, where access to basic needs is scarce. The aid to Somalia's victims of famine is part of an ongoing effort on the part of Aster to alleviate the suffering of those in unfortunate conditions across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In addition to its activity in Somalia, Aster DM Healthcare is also providing medical support to the Syrian Refugees settled in Refugee Camps in Al Zaatari, Al Azraq and Erbid in Jordan, through the deployment of its volunteers as per the guidelines of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The programme started in April and till date it has benefitted to 2,019 people.
“Aster Volunteers” seeks to bridge the gap between people who would like to help with those in need, across the nine markets that the company operates in through a web portal platform. The multi-layered initiative launched early this year, targets communities and aims to address key challenges that will help make a positive difference in society. Some of the key highlights till date include 21,216 people being trained to provide BLS (Basic Life Support) through CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Recitation) awareness and trainings through professionals and trainers, 100s of free surgeries and advanced medical procedures to economically disadvantaged patients, ongoing free health-check up and diagnostic services to various communities in countries where the company operates. All Aster@30 activities will run simultaneously throughout the year across, driving participation from local volunteers in each market where Aster has a presence – ie., UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, India and Philippines.